Supreme Court Refuses to Stay Execution of Judgment Favouring Kashamu-backed Executive

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay the execution of a Federal High Court judgment which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to accept candidates for the 2019 general elections from any other source other than the Senator Buruji Kashamu led group of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State.

The refusal was predicated on declaration by the apex court that it lacked jurisdiction to do so, since the issue brought before it by the Uche Secondus led National Working Committee (NWC) of PDP was not from the Court of Appeal.

Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivor, who presided over the hearing yesterday told the appellant that the Supreme Court does not stay judgment of a trial court but that of the Court of Appeal.

Counsel to Uche Secondus led PDP, Chief Emeka Etiaba, SAN, had prayed the apex court in a motion on notice he filed to stay the execution of the trail court’s judgment delivered by Justice Ibrahim Buba or in the alternative suspend the judgment because of its adverse effect on the progress of PDP in Ogun State.

Etiaba argued that the judgment of the High Court is liable to be stayed or suspended because of the judgment of the Supreme Court delivered in the matter of PDP and Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, which put to rest the leadership tussle in the party.

Besides, he also pleaded for accelerated hearing of the appeal against the High Court judgment and the abridgment of time for the parties to file all their processes.

However, the five-man panel of the Supreme Court agreed that they have no jurisdiction to grant the request of the appellant until the Court of Appeal has made a pronouncement on it.

This prompted Etiaba to withdraw the motion on notice and it was struck out with a cost of N100, 000 to the third parties involved in the matter.

Justice Rhodes-Vivor, while striking out the motion held that it is incompetent and cannot be granted by the apex court.

The PDP had filed an appeal challenging the order of the Federal High Court to the effect that INEC should accept lists of candidates from Adebayo Dayo led Ogun State executive committee of the PDP, a committee backed by Kashamu.

Meanwhile, the court has ordered respondents in the matter to file their brief of argument within the time allowed by law to facilitate quick hearing of the matter.

According to the apex court, the Dayo led executive are to respond within seven days through filing of respondents brief of argument to the issues raised by the Uche Secondus led NWC of PDP in the suit.

The grouse of the Uche Secondus led NWC is that the Federal High Court erred in law in the judgment delivered by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos, on the grounds that it is the national secretariats of parties that conduct primary elections and submit names of candidates to INEC and not state chapters.

The appellant (PDP) in the appeal is also challenging the refusal of the Court of Appeal to hear it as required by law in the appeal against the High Court decision.

Justice Rhodes-Vivor was, however, told by counsel to Ogun PDP, Dr. Alex Izinyon SAN, that the appellant’s brief of argument was served on him on Monday and that he needed time allowed by law to file his own brief of argument for his client.

This prompted the 5 – man panel of the apex court to direct that the respondents’ brief of argument be filed within time allowed by law.